The Alex Clardy Edition


The Alex Clardy Edition

I am writing to let you, constituents of District 1 and other City of Seattle residents, know the bittersweet news that Alex Clardy will be moving on from the Legislative Department. He will be entering an exciting new stage in his life and career.  Alex has been accepted into flight school, where he will train to become an airline pilot.

Please join me in thanking Alex for his nearly seven years of loyal public service.  He has ably aided the constituents of District 1 with dedication and tenacity. The outcome of Alex’s work has helped tens of thousands of residents in the City.

And of course, with all this work, I can’t forget Alex has clerked my Council committee and managed my schedule as well!

Alex may have helped you over the years to get a utility bill adjusted, get a construction permit expedited, address a tenant issue, get your garbage picked up, file a complaint of a worker standard violation, file a complaint about a tree cutting violation…the list goes on!  Here is a round-up of just some of his many policy accomplishments:

  • He helped me lead the development of one of the nation’s first Secure Scheduling policies for tens of thousands of workers working for large retail and food service establishments and requiring: 14 days advance notice for schedules, a written good faith estimate of hours at the time of hire, ten hours right to rest between closing and opening shifts, predictability pay of one hour of wages for schedule additions, half time pay for an involuntary reduction in scheduled work hours and on-call shifts, access to additional hours for existing employees before outside recruitment and hiring. This law has put millions of dollars in workers’ pockets.
  • He helped develop and pass policy to enact utility impact fees on developers so that these costs don’t fall on the ratepayers. We instituted 100% cost recovery for developers to pay for new water taps and system development charges so existing customers are subsidizing fewer of the costs to serve new development.
  • He helped me lead the Council to pass Green Pathways to support the development of green jobs and a career pathway to access them, requiring 1. the City create an inventory of internships, apprenticeships, and entry-level jobs at the City of Seattle that meets the green job’s definition, 2) an outreach and engagement strategy and barriers for people of color to access these jobs, 3) that the City encourages employers to advance green jobs for people of color and other underrepresented groups, and 4) Council allocated funds to support this work.
  • He helped me change our contracts for garbage and recycling, putting Seattle at the forefront of developing technologies in order to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The new contracts resulted in savings of $5 million per year, for a total of $50 million in savings over the course of the 10-year contract.
  • He helped me pass a new Vacant Building Monitoring Program to require property owners to register vacant properties, allowing the City to ensure they are maintained and secure and do not become a public nuisance.
  • He helped to develop legislation to authorize a generous property donation on the southeast edge of Schmitz Park to expand the park.
  • He led the policy development of PayUp, the nation-leading protection for app-based workers that ensures tens of thousands of app-based delivery workers are paid minimum wage plus expenses and tips, creating more transparency in employment terms and how payments are split between workers and app-based companies, protects flexibility and transparency in employment issues for app-based workers.
  • He worked with SPU to develop the purple bag program and the RV pump-out program to assist people living unsheltered and in RVs and helped to keep communities and our waterways cleaner.
  • He worked with the Green River Coalition and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition and the Duwamish Alive Coalition to help me get funding for a Duwamish Watershed Steward to advance salmon recovery in the watershed and to ensure opportunities for land acquisition and habitat restoration are not lost to the development of incompatible uses.
  • He led the budget efforts to add $1.5M for 20 additional firefighter recruits in 2019 add $1.6 million in 2020 to SFD to restore recruit class and testing cuts fund Automated External Defibrillators, Lucas Devices, and Ballistic Vests to keep fire fighters safe.

And let’s not forget how he helped to save Bernard the cat, a quote in the Seattle Times from Bernard’s owner said “There was a lot of back and forth — no one was agreeing to do anything. It was sort of like everybody was pointing fingers at everybody else.” So, a political friend suggested contacting her local City Councilmember, me. I received an email shortly after 5:30pm on Friday, and Alex promptly sent an email to our Council liaison at City Light.  An hour later I received word that City Light had sent a truck out and was able to rescue Bernard.

I know that, like me, you are excited for his future and share my confidence that he will carry with him his compassion and drive towards justice in everything he does.   We wish him the best of luck in his new endeavors.


This Week in the Budget

The City Council spent last week in day-long budget hearings, where we received briefings from City departments and our own Council staff analysts on the Mayor’s proposed 2023 and 2024 budget.   You can review video of the presentations and discussion here: Select Budget Committee |   Here’s the schedule of our discussions:

Councilmembers’ proposed budget amendments were due Tuesday at Noon, and we’ll discuss those proposals publicly during budget deliberations the week of October 24th.  Your next opportunity to provide public comment is 9:30am on Tuesday 10/25.  Learn about the budget process and how to sign up for public comment here: Select Budget Committee – Council |

Here is the anticipated schedule by department for presentation of amendments in next week’s Budget Committee meetings (you can check the Council’s Committee agendas webpage for final versions):

Day 1: Tuesday, October 25 Day 2: Wednesday, October 26 Day 3: Thursday, October 27
Public Comment (90 minutes)

ARTS – Arts and Culture

AUD – Auditor

CEN – Seattle Center

DEEL- Education and Early Learning

FG – Finance General

ITD – Seattle IT

MO – Mayor’s Office

OEM – Emergency Management

OH – Housing

OIR – Intergovernmental Relations

OIRA – Immigrants and Refugee Affairs

OLS – Labor Standards

OW – Waterfront

SCL – City Light

SPU – Utilities

DON – Neighborhoods

FAS – Finance and Admin Services

OED – Economic Development

OIG – Inspector General

OPCD – Planning and Community Development

OSE – Sustainability and Environment

SDCI – Construction and Inspections

SFD – Fire

SPR – Parks

CSCC – Community Safety Comms Center

HSD – Human Services Department

SDOT – Transportation

SPD – Police


If you are looking for more information about the Council’s budget process, here is a helpful interactive guide: Demystifying the Council’s Budget Process – Council |

City’s Covid Civil Emergency to End

Last week, Mayor Harrell announced that the City of Seattle will officially end its Civil Emergency Proclamation after 10/31/22. This change aligns with Washington state and Governor Inslee’s decision to end the statewide state of emergency the same date.

Starting November 1, some of the temporary systems and waivers that were implemented during the pandemic will be removed and others will be phased out over time.  Here are some examples:

  • Commercial Renters: Requirement for property owners renting to small businesses and non-profit tenants to not raise rent, to negotiate reasonable payment plans to limit evictions and limits on commercial tenant personal liability will expire six months after the end of the emergency proclamation.
  • Food Delivery: Premium pay for food delivery network gig workers established by ordinance will end November 1, 2022.
  • Sick Leave: Paid sick time for food delivery and transportation network gig workers will end six months after the end of the emergency proclamation. Starting January 1, 2023, transportation network drivers will be entitled to sick leave under a new state law.
  • The Executive is currently reviewing policies related to Design Review and Historical Review to identify process changes to propose Council make permanent.

Although the civil emergency is ending, the pandemic is still with us.  Public Health – Seattle & King County reminds us to take these actions to help manage the spread of coronavirus and keep each other safe.

  • The best protection is to get vaccinated. Fully vaccinated people can now do more things safely and are helping reduce COVID-19 in the community.
  • Wearing a mask in high-risk settings (such as crowded places) helps to protect everyone. It’s especially important to protect people that can’t get the full protection from the vaccine, such as young children and people with medical conditions who are less able to fight the virus.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who tests positive.

Public Comment Extended for New Alki Elementary School

Two weeks ago I wrote that the city was seeking public comment by October 14th on proposed code departures for the new Alki Elementary School. That public comment period has been extended to November 4. As a quick refresher: the Seattle School District is requesting the following modifications (also known as “departures”) from City zoning regulations per Seattle Municipal Code, SMC 23.51B, and the Public School Departures Process, SMC 23.79:

  1. Greater than allowed building height
  2. Reduced vehicular parking quantity
  3. Bus loading and unloading
  4. New curb cut to service area without vehicular parking
  5. Increased curb cut width
  6. Increased curb cut flare
  7. Reduced bicycle parking (long-term) quantity
  8. Amended bicycle parking performance standards
  9. Signage/changing image sign

The Seattle School District has a detailed presentation of the modifications which you can view on the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods website.

Please submit your written comments by Friday, November 4 to:

Nelson Pesigan
Mailing Address:

Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA  98124-4649

For additional information, please see the City’s website or contact Nelson Pesigan at 206-684-0209.

Seattle’s 2023 Minimum Wage Increase

On January 1 Seattle’s minimum wage is adjusted based on the Consumer Price Index. The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) – who enforces our local labor laws – announced the wage increases:

  • The 2023 minimum wage for large employers (501 or more employees) is $18.69/hour
  • The 2023 minimum wage for small employers (500 or fewer employees) who do not pay at least $2.19/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does not earn at least $2.19/ hour in tips is $18.69/hour.
  • The 2023 minimum wage for small employers who do pay at least $2.19/hour toward the employee’s medical benefits and/or where the employee does earn at least $2.19/hour in tips is $16.50/hour.

OLS will be mailing out, in 2023, a revised workplace poster containing this information and other labor standards to every business in the City. These posters are also available for download on OLS’ website here, and are available in other languages here.

Tour With Vigor and Long Live the Kings

On Wednesday of last week, I got the opportunity to visit Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard where I participated in a tour of the salmon habitat restoration project in which Vigor is partnering with Long Live the Kings and the University of Washington Wetland Ecosystem Team.

As a result of heavy industrialization, wild salmon – including Chinook and steelhead – are listed under the Endangered Species Act. We must continue supporting salmon recovery efforts. I’m glad to know that these community partners are taking on this challenge.

In addition to a tour of the salmon almon habitat restoration project, I also toured Vigor’s shipyard and training facility. South Seattle College has a public-private partnership with Vigor where students can participate in an intensive six-month program to earn a certificate for shipyard welding.  The maritime industry needs well-trained, skilled workers today to fill the jobs of tomorrow.  This program is a great opportunity for a career ladder whether you are changing careers or just getting into the job market.

Office Hours

On Friday, October 28, I will be hosting in-person office hours between 3pm and 7pm, with the last meeting of the day beginning at 6:30pm.

As we move back to in-person office hours I am asking that you still please contact me ( to schedule an appointment to ensure too many people aren’t gathering in a small area.

Here is my next tentatively scheduled office hours. This may be subject to change.

  • Friday, December 16, 2022



© 1995-2018 City of Seattle